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Iran 22, United States 19, Brazil 12, Turkey 10, U.s. 9, Israel 7, Moscow 5, Washington 5, Germany 4, France 3, Iraq 3, Russia 3, Tehran 2, Britain 2, Wilson 2, Mustafa Kibaroglu 2, China 2, Baghdad 2, Animation 1, Pakistan 1,
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  CSPAN    News and Public Affairs    News/Business.  
   Highlights from the week.  

    September 16, 2012
    5:00 - 5:59am EDT  

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this is a sad day for the wilson center. i am sure that nancy would be happy that we're going ahead with doing things here. i want to cover the history of diplomacy and iran in 12 minutes. [laughter] i'm not going to do a with those bags, the history of the world and 5 seconds. it is a very long story that has been going on since 2002 when an iranian resistance group revealed that iran had things going on. in 2003, i started with a october come in 2003, but the
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investigation started in february of 2003, when a nuclear watchdog flew into tehran. iran is going ahead with its nuclear program. it feels justified, saying its nuclear program is a peaceful effort to generate electricity and that it has an inalienable right to do this. the u.s. position is that iran is secretly seeking to develop nuclear weapons and, under the guidance of the npc, and under the guise of the technology
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that is the same technology used to make a power reactor, under the guise of that, they're pushing ahead toward a weapon. up until october, 2003, the united states was pushing very hard to get iran referred to the u.s. security council for not being forthcoming. remember that there was the war in iraq. there was a strong push on the part of the europeans, especially britain, germany, and france not to go to the security council because they saw iran going the way of iraq. going to the security council would be a mandate for war. countries like france had been at odds with the united states
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over iraq and did not want to be at odds with the u.s. over iran, but wanted to stop the united states from doing what it did to iraq. we had a dramatic event where the foreign ministers of germany, in october, 2003, struck an agreement where iran would embark on uranium enrichment. it is the ultimate in dual use technology. it had the united states stepping back and britain, germany, and france became known as the eu3. in november of 2004, iran went along with this saying they would also be a part of uranium enrichment.
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but he doesn't buy, eu3 was submitting a proposal to iran promising help for its program. this is where you get another big in theme. the eu3 was unable to do anything because the and the states was not there. they looked over the european shoulders and kept waiting for the united states to appear. nothing can happen without the united states stepping in. the iranians rejected the proposal. then, the eu3 mission ran out of steam. and that meant a job became president of iran --
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ahmadinejad. may 31, to dozen 5, u.s. secretary of state condoleezza rice says the u.s. is ready to join in talks with iran if irn suspends uranium enrichment. the united states thought this was an incredible concession. after 31 years of lack of diplomatic relations, the united states had taken the first step. the iranian reaction was, where
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is the beef? he want to suspend a uranium enrichment and this is the one thing we do not want to do. they thought this was an empty gesture. just to show you how difficult this process is and how one side makes an effort and the other side takes it as not much of anything. now the eu3 merx into a different group. now, the united states is willing to lift all sorts of sanctions. once again, iran rejected it. saying we do not want to spend the enrichment. we suspended it for two years and nothing happened.
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the policy failed and iran started moving ahead significantly its nuclear program. in august 2008, iran stopped cooperating on this issue. it is dead in the water. then you have president obama being elected. he sends a message to iran were come up for the first time, he
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addressed the government directly. he had campaigned saying he wanted to have engagements. then something happened. in june, 2009, there was the election with demonstrations. there was a question should you negotiate with ahmadinejad's administration. the in the states put together the idea of a fuel swap. iran would still be able to continue to enrich. i think this offer was a the facto recognition of iran's right to enrich. something they were asking for since 2003.
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a year, the time it would take the renter enrich back up to this level -- you have a magic compromise. iran agreed to it at first, but it fell victim to domestic politics in iran. it fell apart. turkey and brazil at the same numerical agreement th had with some differences. one, they drew up something called the tehran agreement. they said their rights to enrich inalienable we
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recognized. iran had started to enrich to 20%. that means there were much closer to nuclear capability. the other problem i see with the may, 2010 agreement is dead iran was going outside the establishment. this was unacceptable to the united states. on those four points, i know some of you will disagree with this strongly -- on those four points, this was not a good deal for the and it states.
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they went ahead with much tougher sanctions. then you have an effort in december, 2010, to revise the diplomatic process. iran came to the meeting saying their condition was that sanctions should be lifted and its right to enrich should be unequivocally recognized. the iranians stopped negotiating because the and it states wanted to have a modified deals what agreement. they said we will not talk to you until you lift all feel sanctions and recognize our right to enrich. war talk starts building. he had his real seeking more and more wanting to know what is going on. it had a meeting in march between president obama and
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netanyahu. then you have three meetings, in april in istanbul, may in baghdad, june in moscow. there were talking very concretely -- no longer rhetoric, the logger saying capitalism is destroying the world -- they are talking nuts and bolts about nuclear issues and they want sanctions to be lifted. sanctions would not be lifted. iranians are disappointed. they insisted iran must first stopped enriching to 20%. things start to fall apart. things really fall apart in june in moscow, where the
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conversation is very simple. the conversation is very technical. it is not rhetoric. there is no move to any agreement. the talks fall apart. the russians did not want the talks to fall apart in moscow, so they agreed to have an experts' meeting here that is what is continuing. where are we now? we are in a situation where there is much more talk of war. we're wondering the israelis are going to attack. there is more discrepancies between israel and the united states over what constitutes a red line of nuclear capability by iran. obama has said and repeated that them getting a nuclear weapon is the red line. this is a real source of contention between israel and the united states. is diplomacy dead? it is in suspended animation.
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i just spoke this morning to brussels. no one is saying it is over. they're moving towards talks between the iranian representative. he meeting before the election is not ruled out. that is where we are now. sorry i took too long. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, michael. who would like to invite mustafa kibaroglu to give a perspective on turkey. turkey is involved in the negotiations. they have learned to have relations with iran.
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it is a pleasure to have mustafa kibaroglu back here and have an opportunity to listen to his updates, his presentation since our last meeting in early last year. >> good morning. i would like to express my deep sympathy over your painful loss. i would like to start by thanking paul for inviting me. i am excited. they came all the way from turkey, 5,000 miles, for this event. it will be 10,000 miles both ways. do not put too much pressure on me for time.
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two minutes per 2,000 miles. thank you very much for everything. i would like to express a disclaimer. everything i say is my personal opinion. they are not responsible for anything i say here.
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i can assure you that my perspective, which is one of the prospective that you can find, it is not self-promotion. it is because i am in this business. i got acquainted with iran's nuclear program when i was a fellow in the united nations. i was in a three-month fellowships.
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it was a time when russia and iran signed a deal. i noticed it was different than other bilateral agreements. one item struck me, which was 1500 graduate students would be sent to russia every year. that is how i started doing research. since then that was the time when i published something --
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if i can find it here, let's see -- something that i published, which was titled "is iran going nuclear?" based on the capability that iran would acquire. i thought, when the time comes, iran might have the determination to have nuclear capabilities. the capability to build atomic weapons. that was in the 1990's.
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since then, i have published articles, continue in my research. when i was a fellow, i was invited to join a turkish delegation. i joined with a number of government officials, with whom i had a chance to discuss and ask questions, which culminated -- [intelligible] they were very generous to cover my expenses. since then i continued to look into the subject.
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this is a highly important subject from turkey's standpoint. those people think iran is a problem of nuclear capabilities. for turkey, it is not even a problem. turkey will be the most negatively affected if iran developed the bomb.
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the comparison between turkey and iran [intelligible] for the last few hundred years, turkey and iran have been in peaceful relations. but do not like to use the term rivalry. if and when iran acquires nuclear weapons technology, it is a game changer.
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the views i often see in the west and in europe is as if turkey does not care about the rent's position with nuclear weapons. this is not the case. in turkey, there exists some sympathy with iran developing nuclear technology. the public sentiment might be on the side of iran. but government officials, diplomats, many academics, journalists, there are differences of opinion, but i do not know of anybody in the turkish government who says, who cares if iran gets the bomb? on the opposite, it is a prime concern for most turkish security. the president has been clear in his remarks, saying, and i am paraphrasing, pretty much what i just said that turkey would not like to see that. the prime minister was on tv quoted as if he was supporting iran hostage technology. but he said was that my friend ahmadinejad said that he would was not developing weapons, so
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i trust him. i can tell you this -- the issue is a prime concern. we are neighbors, and transparency between the two, there is a neighborhood issue. the second thing is the public sentiment over the last 10 years, especially the and then it states coming to the region, the support presumably given to the northern iraqi.
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the conspiracy theory that the americans are helping the kurds. the public sentiment is not on the side of the and and it states or israel. the government, which now received almost half of the votes in the last election cannot stay aloof for what the public feels about iran. on the one hand, there is this public sentiment, but on the other hand, there are intelligence reports. and scholarly reports they have commission. iran seems to have benefited to a lot from not having a solution to this process.
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i have written on this in the issue of the new scientist. go ahead and read it if you want. i know for a fact that throughout all of these negotiations, something happened in cyberspace at some point. for some reason, the and and the states decided to turn down the offer. it was a time when the united states finally got the support of china. the state department did not
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want to risk the support that was later on used against iran. how does iran benefit from that? no 20%? he just turned down this offer? ok. i'm going to develop the uranium myself. so they did. what if iran declares to the world that they would enrich their uranium? would there be anything preventing that? it would be legal. theirs no interpretation. i am not going to go into details, but is it possible? advancing its capabilities. every time theirs a deadlock, iran goes further.
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iran is excelling in nuclear technology. what shall we do? first, we are still in the negotiating stage. there is hope for a negotiation. we have not burned bridges. we are not hopeless. there are options. the negotiations must continue, the p 5 +1 negotiations. i did not see anything that would require germany to be more involved and turkey. germany is far away.
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iran would like to attacked germany or western europe? turkey is nearby, and it is all about worst-case scenarios. turkey should be more involved. i can tell you with great confidence that we turks can understand both sides better than they understand each other. iranians may not get the way europeans think. they make themselves clear. europeans may not understand the way iranians tell them.
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turkey can be not only a facilitator but a good mediator for a solution. not only should turkey be more involved, the only high-level people but lower level people, not only just one or two day meetings in russia or geneva, but covers is taking place in various places. iran has serious concerns, regional and economical. he can think about israel. pakistan. these are all different issues. we should not forget the fact
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that time is on iran's side. the worldwide public opinion is on their side. is there any other country in the world? israel. these are all different issues concerns must be addressed sincerely. this is important. we should not forget the fact that time is on iran's side. they have rights. the world wide public opinion is on their side.
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even in israel and the united states, there are offices making a statement against iran. iran is not any rush. the nuclear program cannot compare to libya's nuclear program in the past. iran is there for 2500 years are more and will be there for 2500 or more. so they just take their time. they are not any rush. iran is already being treated as if they have been clear weapons by superpowers.
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would there be any reason for them to get together? iran is already entertaining the prestige of having the capability. what would they do something that would affect the reaction of the world population? therefore, iran has time. and, we should not forget, has the nuclear capability. negotiations must continue. if there are any questions, i will be ready to answer. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] thank you very much. presentation. we will be on time after her
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presentation has concluded. we will watch monica herz. >> but like to start by thanking the wilson center for this invitation to take part in this debate. unfortunately, i am not able to be in washington. i would like to start by reminding you we had this conversation at the wilson center after turkey and iran signed a deal. during that debate, i tried to point out that this was a unique moment for our understanding of brazilian participation in international affairs and policy. this is a country that usually
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does not take part in dealing with crises in regions except in the middle east, particularly issues related to weapons of mass destruction. fortunately, we are in a region free of weapons of mass destruction. this was a moment when, due to the changing tendencies in brazilian foreign policy, they seek greater role in international forums in terms of international responsibility. brazil tried to take part in negotiations dealing with the crisis. on the other hand, this was also an issue where brazil was
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able to express its discontent with the regime. it discontent with the the discriminatory nature. it was a moment when brazil was able to express this discontent regime. on the other hand, this was also a moment when the crisis of the regime itself became quite clear. and brazil's participation in the crisis became clear. the whole idea that iran would be responsible enough to enrich uranium ore have weapons of mass destruction.
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it is not acceptable to a country that always had a multilateral list view of international issues. this does not relate to iran's foreign-policy were even its obtaining weapons of mass destruction. but the idea that all countries have the right to enrich uranium and have access to this technology. the development of sensible technology. this is the point of identity between brazil and iran. it is very specific and no
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conclusions should be made regarding the specificity of the identity. that agreement was trying to allow iran to move forward in its specific plans for developing a nuclear reactor, and at the same time dealing with the concerns of countries in the international community that to not want to iran to move towards nuclear weapons. the agreement, though reached, was not accepted by other members of the international community. as the security council moved towards sanctions. today, after so many months have passed, what we see is that the choices made do not seem reasonable. perhaps, though disagreeing with the details of the
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agreement, perhaps that should have been a path that brazil could have engaged in iran in a different way. i would like to invite you to think and debate about the possibility of getting others involved such as brazil. the negotiations are not moving forward. the sanctions have, according to many analysts, moves iran further towards nuclear-weapons instead of doing exactly the opposite.
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the fact is that today israel is again talking about bombing iran. perhaps brazil's position, though maybe not a solution for the problem as a whole, could have been an interesting contribution. allowing for a different path of negotiations to take place at the same time. i would also like to stress that, as the regime in prices, the nonproliferation regime, it is necessary to take into consideration that this is a regime in crisis. it is necessary to involve new emerging powers into the building of this regime. brazil can play a key role in
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this respect. in terms of not having a nuclear program. the action of either sanctions or force at some point, but always negotiating with very specific conditions. the action of negotiating with only one group and only one track has not been the best option. so i would suggest that we look back to this experience and perhaps incorporate some of the elements of this experience in order to understand the situation now and move forward. we do observe some changes, the cooling of relations with iran.
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the government has been more concerned with constructing more positive and cooperative relations with the united states and also has a different posture regarding the human rights regime. it is very critical of the political situation in iran. this was very clear when the president visited brazil in 2010. the treatment was different than the treatment given. in spite of these differences, the interested in engaging in participating in building a new road to negotiations is still there. brazil can participate and have
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a positive contribution to make. i hope these observations can help in your debate during this event. thank you very much. [applause] >> i will relate your applause to monaco. [laughter] -- relay you applause to monica. >> i do not know how to use computers. i am just going to sit here. i want to thank the panel for organizing this. i think it is very valuable. if we look back, i think it is a sad reality that we have to take a look at. we see house there has been missed opportunity.
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in 2009, the robins were presented with a proposal. -- the i iranians were presented with a proposal. had they expected it, they would be in a better position. what they managed to negotiate to get their signature also would have put the united states in a better position today regardless of whatever technical flaws or not seen as being fully -- instead we have more 20% enriched uranium. and at the same time, we have a far more sanctions including those that there hitting the regular population and starting to create a humanitarian situation. overall, it does not likely --
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seem like anybody is winning. it seems like both sides are losing. there is a dynamic in which it is about putting more pressure on the other without looking at, are we making any progress? are we advancing the objectives? i think michael put it correctly that a significant reason as to why these opportunities haven't been missed in the past have been because of domestic politics. in iran in 2009, they had concerns about the structure of the deal that was put in front of them but the real reason as to why they did not come to a yes was not because of those issues. it was the political infighting that had not stopped after the fraudulent elections of 2009. it was a more decisive reason
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than what other reasons they had. in 2010, when the united states rejected a deal that hit -- it had instructed them to go to iran and negotiate based on the letter sent to these leaders, the reason that was not accepted had more to do with domestic politics than whatever number is did not seem to be optimal. the united states had given a promise that the united states congress that if it waited and let the u.s. government debt multilateral sanctions, it could go forward with its own sanctions. it was critical the congress would wait and do it after the sanctions had been passed. if they had been imposed before then, there would be no multilateral section -- sanctions.
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what happened is that two days before he arrived, russia and china came in with an agreement to the proposal that had been negotiated. the white house had to break a promise. turkey and brazil or congress? six months before a crucial election, mindful of the fact the administration felt it had already lost political capital the health care debate, the sense was it would not be wise to break the promise to congress. we missed that opportunity. now we are in a situation where i do not share the optimism in turkey being able to play the same type of critical and constructive role it did in 2010 as a result of the region and of
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the support of assad. it is a different dynamic now between the governments. the question is, who could play that type of a role? that is part of the cost of missing these opportunities. we saw how domestic politics was a critical reason as to why negotiations did not succeed. it was because of domestic politics that obama pushed aggressively to get to the table. the reason was not only new sanctions had been put on iran but also because of the fact that as a result of the escalation of the sanctions, and when you have high oil prices
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you have high gas prices. incumbent presidents usually do not when elections. there was a need to be able to push that back. the biggest obstacle, the biggest buffer against any unilateral straight that would be detrimental to u.s. interest, it would only make it worse, would be to have an ongoing political process. it would be too high. as a result, that would also benefit the administration. it is also true that in election years, the political maneuverability that governments have do not tend to be as high. coming to this table, both sides did not have the flexibility in order to get a deal. i think that the meeting was a
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success and has not been given the right credit because they agreed on a framework on how to negotiate. you cannot -- that was based on a couple of principles, reciprocity. there would be a step-by-step process. it would be -- if the united states or to offer a concession to the raw onions, they have to reciprocate with a concession of their own. these were all good principles. all that within the framework of the non-proliferation treaty. coming to baghdad, it became clear that both sides were not willing to match that with equally grand concessions. the u.s. made it clear it wants to see seizures of all activity
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and wanted to see the runyon's -- i iranians use their stockpile. the iranians wanted massive lifting of sanctions. they did not seem to match. the united states made it clear that sanctions relief was not on the table. not for these negotiations. it happens to be the no. 1 or no. 2 priority. demanding something strategic, but not willing to offer something of equal value, was a violation of the principles that were established. they made the same mistake. they were not willing to offer things -- 20% was on the table. by moscow, it had become clear that the middle package the
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administration was thinking about probably would not go anywhere. they were thinking about going big. much more would be put on the table. there was also the option of going small. there would be a some essential elements that would be given to the iranians. but the calculations in washington became that big was not possible and small would not be politically beneficial. success would translate into failure in washington. meaning that even if a deal could be had on a small-scale, it would be so heavily criticized by republicans and political opponents of the administration and because it was small, it would not be that easy for the administration to defend it. if they succeeded in moscow, it
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would translate into political favors in washington. i think the calculations were correct. there was failure and there was not a single entity of importance in washington that complained about the fact that the deal was not struck. there was no political cost for not having struck the deal. going forward, we see that the strategy is escalate further with more sanctions. the iranians are escalating and one official said the did something clever. they have made sure they walked back from the american red line in the sense of having transferred more of their 20% and turning its into something that is less of a concern for the u.s. while watching closer to the israeli red line which is to include new activities.
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by that exasperated tensions that already exist when it comes to the different time lines. over here, we are imposing more and more sanctions and those are starting to hit the general population much more than it is hitting iran's nuclear power are -- proclamations. this is something to keep in mind. in conversations, the administration has taken several positive steps to be able to do something to alleviate the pain that is being imposed on the run in people. making sure -- the iranian people. making sure there was a license after the earthquake that took place a couple of weeks ago. problems still remain because those exemptions are not affecting the financial sanctions. banks refuse to send any money there anyway despite of the general license. this will be important down the
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road because part of the calculation is to make sure that pressure is put on the population in order for the population to put pressure on their government to change their policy. in order for that to succeed, they need to vent their anger toward their own government and land their government for the minute -- misery they find themselves in. two things have happened that is going to make that much more difficult for the united states. the anchor of the population toward the government is overwhelming. we do not need to go into the details of that. human-rights is horrible. the things that have happened that is tending to shift the is this isanchger, one starting to hit to the madison supply. hospitals are not having access to medicine any longer. of all the hardships that existed, it is difficult to be able to see who is the most to
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blame. it is it their regime? the sanctions? when it comes to medical storage as of medicine, it is a result of sanctions. in the negotiations, the u.s. made it clear sanctions relief was not on the table. as a result, even talking to people inside iran who dislike this region, they felt this was not a deal if iran should have accepted. had they accepted a deal, they would have been more upset because the people would get nothing because there would be no sanctions relief. i think it's going to be important to reach celebrate because of this pressure only enables the government to be able to overcome its many
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differences with the population and paint the united states as the culprit, then the pressure in order to get the population to change the policy will not come around the administration had hoped for. thank you ram much. >> thank you very much. we are now going to open for your questions. in the tradition of the wilson center, we're talking about nuclear subjects. we like to generate light, not heat. i ask you to identify yourself and ask a short question to one or more than one of your panelists. >> i just got back from a week
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in to ron and i wanted to second a lot of what was said about the shifting balance of anger toward the united states. one question for our turkish colleague, how much damage has a serious dent to turkey's ability to be a mediator? and if you could talk about what you would like to see from the obama administration if it is reelected and how much damage would be done if it is romney? >> thank you for the question. i was going to reply anyway. have an potential to impact on negotiations. it goes without saying that turkey and iran have a lot of experience in terms of negotiations to overcome the obstacles that might be emanating from the prospects of
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the negotiations because it is a bigger issue. syria is very sensitive and problematic. i am and guarded optimism. the point is, if there are going to me negotiations anyway, not only because of -- turkey has concerns about iran's ability -- but to turkey and iran and still have a role in terms of negotiations. he